Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talk To The Hand

The Irish government might as well talk to the hand, because the religious congregations ain't listening.

The cost of compensating thousands of Irish citizens for the abuse they suffered as children under the care of the Sisters of Mercy or the Christian Brothers is astronomical. Since the religious made money off the slave labor of those children (small fingers work best to string rosaries), it was expected that they would take a large share of the blame.

What few outside of Ireland know is that Irish children were literally arrested on trumped up charges such as begging, and commited to industrial schools. The idea was to socially engineer poverty into oblivion, and the girls could be well trained in morality and there's the end of premarital sex. The ultimate outcome was thousands of men and women wholly unprepared for the outside world, institutionalized, emotionally stunted.

The cost of psychological counseling alone will cost millions of euro, to say nothing of the financial remuneration for pain and suffering.

So will the religious organizations answer the government's call to contribute more to the redress scheme than what they originally were willing to give? More than worthless land and the heartfelt prayers of the congregations?

Thus far, there's been little response to Taoiseach Brian Cowen's request. No surprise, of course. The religious orders did nothing when they learned that they were harboring pedophiles within the confines of their institutions, and they did nothing when children were physically and/or sexually abused. Why break with tradition and actually do something productive?

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